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The Gulfstream Flood

The Gulfstream Flood
 
By Kent H. Stirling, FHBPA Executive Director
 
January 2010
 
Yes, flood and pestilence plagued South Florida in December only it was pestilence and flood, because a week before Christmas and just as the 21 day Herpes Virus quarantine was coming to an end at Calder the flood hit at Gulfstream Park.
 
Tack rooms and stalls were swamped by two feet of water, prompting about a 100 horses to ship to Calder, Palm Meadows and elsewhere until the water receded.  A total of 518 horses or slightly less than half the stable area were standing in water for a substantial period of time.  The water receded in less than 48 hours and things returned to normal except for the damage done to equipment, such as approximately: 30 refrigerators, 15 TV’s, 10 microwave ovens, 4 golf carts, a car and plus close to $30,000 in lost feed and bedding.  Numerous Gold Boots, lasers, massage systems and such were also lost.
 
Gulfstream donated $20,000 to the FHBPA Charitable Foundation and Calder added $5,000 more, and these monies were distributed by Chaplain LaPointe’s His Place Ministries, to the trainers of the 517 affected horses or approximately $48.25 per horse.  Trainer, Tim Ritvo, who was a great help during the flood, had an owner of his, Dean Reeves, donate 40 top-of-the-line mattresses to grooms who had had theirs destroyed by the flood waters.  The FHBPA has donated $7,500 and the National HBPA has matched that sum which will be distributed to grooms and trainers who lost the most.
 
One can only hope that happier days are ahead of us now.